By Nancy Gay
“The operating room at Moffitt Cancer Center has some of the best acoustics I’ve ever performed in,” jokes Dale Pyatt as he sits in a hospital room waiting to be discharged after undergoing five days of in-patient chemotherapy.
While picking his guitar, he reflects back to 2012, when he helped write the song “Life Goes On” with the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer. Back then he never imagined that a few years later he would be the one fighting for his life.
A construction worker by trade, Pyatt says he’s never really been sick a day in his life but in June 2018 he knew a knot in his leg was more than just a pulled muscle, and was eventually diagnosed with high-grade 3 sarcoma.
Despite the shock, Pyatt sought solace in song. He often strummed his guitar and sang to nurses and patients while in the hospital. He even belted out the tune “Miracle Man” as he was being wheeled into surgery.
Pyatt underwent two surgeries and radiation before beginning several rounds of in-patient chemotherapy. Needless to say, Pyatt spends a lot of time at Moffitt. During one of his stays, he noticed a sign in the cafeteria about courage and a wave of inspiration came over him. He came up with a good melody and chorus and enlisted a friend in the music industry to create the song “There is Life,” as a message of hope and inspiration.
Pyatt has a long road ahead of him, but wants to give back with his gift of song. He is performing at the annual Sarcoma Shootout fundraiser on Saturday, March 9 to help raise money for sarcoma research at Moffitt.
After the performance, he will check into the cancer center for round two of a five-day, in-patient chemotherapy, which he is delaying by a day so he can be at the event.
Pyatt says he wants to give back and recently became an official Moffitt volunteer. He can often be found playing for patients and says, “If it can inspire people who are suffering to have a little bit of hope, that’s what it’s all about.